Being able to track your heart rate is a great benefit to anyone who’s health–conscious and it’s an essential for athletes and those who are physically active. One handy device that helps you take note of your heart rate is the heart rate monitor and even more convenient are the strapless types.
Unlike other heart rate monitors that require a band around your chest, the strapless heart rate monitor is worn on the wrist like a watch. It measures your heart rate accurately and it can tell the time as well, plus it usually has other useful features. You can also comfortably wear the strapless heart rate monitor for the entire day.
If you’re looking for a heart rate monitor that does not require a strap, here are some of the most highly recommended:
Best Strapless Heart Rate Monitor
- Mio Alpha 2
The Mio Alpha 2 has a terrific, sporty design. The silicone strap is soft and feels comfortable, even after hours of wear. Although it does not have GPS, it does however, measure the distance you’ve traveled, miles per hour and minutes per mile with astonishing precision thanks to its accelerometer. Other features include a calorie counter and timer. When it comes to ease of use, it’s no trouble to control, though the Alpha 2 is not as easy to figure out as other models. Its battery life is excellent; it can gauge and keep track of your heart rate for more than 20 hours. Charging this device is via its unique charger that you plug into a power outlet. Another highlight is that’s waterproof up to 30 meters; you won’t have to worry when you’re jogging and get caught in the rain while wearing this. The companion app for this monitor is also simple and user-friendly but could do with more features
- Omron HR-210
Built with top quality but priced affordably is the Omron HR-210. Aside from heart rate, it records your calories burned and features a clock, stopwatch, calendar and alarm. It’s also easy and simple to use. What’s different about this device though is that it doesn’t continuously track your heart rate. Instead, you press lightly on the clock face whenever you want a reading. You can wear it while swimming as well since it’s waterproof up to 164 feet. One concern about this tracker, though, is that the strap is of a standard size that can only fit normal-sized wrists. Another concern is that most users say the tracker is accurate but a few have mentioned inconsistencies in their readings.
- Polar A360
Makers of excellent fitness devices, Polar has several bestselling heart rate monitors but their first strapless heart rate monitor is the Polar A360. This tracker correctly calculates beats per minute, counts steps as well as calories burned, and tracks sleep, a useful feature. A built-in alert system will also warn you when you need more physical activity during your day. It has a simple but sleek design and is operated via touchscreen. Although it lacks GPS, it’s fairly durable and is waterproof until 30 meters. Different band sizes are available to fit most wrists as well. The batteries extend up to four days, which is not bad but not as great as other units. Charging is done by hooking up the tracker to its micro USB cable, very convenient.
- Fitbit Blaze
The Fitbit Blaze is primarily a smartwatch that can also measure your heart rate. Smooth and stylish, it’s equipped with a touchscreen in full color which is easy to read even with little light. This tracker syncs with Android or Apple or Windows phones so that notifications, calls and messages from your phone appear on the watch. It also utilizes the GPS on your smartphone so you’ll likely need your phone strapped to your arm as well if you’re running. With its Fitbit PurePulse, your heart rate is precisely and continuously recorded the whole time you’re wearing the watch. Aside from that, this tracker also takes note of your distance traveled, steps taken, periods of activity and number of calories burned, all recorded on the FitStar app. It also has an impressive battery life; one charge lasts until five days.
- Garmin Vivosmart HR
Another top of the line strapless heart rate monitor is the Garmin Vivosmart HR. With a clear, easy to read touchscreen display, it uses its Garmin Elevate technology to track your heart rate non-stop for an entire day. It also covers all the basics for fitness trackers: calories burned, steps and distance taken, with a bonus feature measuring stairs climbed. As a smartwatch, it links to your smartphone for calls or notifications, and allows you to control your music from here. It also syncs to the Garmin Connect app to view and record your progress. This smartwatch includes a useful alert system which prompts you to move when you’ve been inactive for several minutes. One of its high points is that it’s water resistant until 165 feet. Its battery life is limited, though, as it needs recharging after only two days.
- Tomtom Spark Cardio + Music
If you’re the type who work outs more effectively when listening to upbeat music, you’ll love the Tomtom Spark Cardio + Music. This tracker has a sizable, clear display operated by a large button. Aside from heart rate, it also keeps track of your sleep patterns and fitness activities, but its greatest feature is its innovative use of 3 GB internal memory for saving and playing your favorite music. It has everything you need, including built-in GPS so you won’t need your smartphone when you’re out for a run. It’s even waterproof up to 130 feet. The main drawback of this device though is the battery life, which is restricted to about five hours when you use most of the features.
- Epson Pulsense PS-500
Though Epson is known more for their technology, their venture into the world of fitness with a strapless heart rate monitor like the Epson Pulsense PS-500 is a worthy effort. Both an activity tracker and a wrist-based heart monitor, this device is full of features. It tracks your heart rate all throughout the day, your workout progress and sleep patterns. This tracker uses an LCD display to present your data but it acts as a watch as well, constantly showing the date and time. When the device is linked to your smartphone, it will also show notifications from your phone and record your information on the Pulsense View app. Battery life when using all the features is up to 40 hours, excellent performance compared to other models.
There are many wrist-based heart rate monitors available on the market and they rarely come cheap. The price is reasonable though considering the features each tracker has, especially if it’s mainly a smartwatch. When finalizing your choice, consider your needs and activities and how well the tracker supplements your lifestyle. Is it easy to use? How comfortable does it feel even after hours of wearing? Do you need something waterproof? What else does it track? Most of all, how accurate is the information shown? Don’t forget to take all this into account when deciding on your strapless heart rate monitor.